Senator Kevin J. Rader of Florida certainly had the best of intentions when he proposed Senate Bill 1162. The Companion Animal Protection Act would require shelters to exhaust all possible alternatives before euthanizing any dog or cat.
Roughly 3 million pets are put down in shelters each year. While we all want to see that number decrease, many critics fear the bill will create a whole new set of problems.
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If passed, the Companion Animal Protection Act would require shelters to carry out and document several steps before resorting to euthanasia, including: contacting rescue groups, putting out pleas to foster homes, and creating temporary housing in the event of over-crowding.
Hound/mix Dog aged 3 years 1 month
The shelter directors would also be required to sign off on their documented efforts and make those records available to the public for three years.
Read the entire bill here:
Skeptics like Scott Daly, Executive Director of the no-kill Pet Pal Animal Shelter, worry that lawmakers are failing to foresee the consequences of such a law. Daly is a former state-run shelter employee and has witnessed countless animals put to sleep due to illness, injury, temperament, and most of all, over-crowding.
Yorkie/Chihuahua Dog aged 12 months
He fears that tying shelters’ hands on this issue would lead to near-instant space concerns. With the shelters at capacity and unable to make adequate space, they may have to close their doors altogether.
10-week-old dachshund/terrier mix
At the very least, more pets would be turned away and later abandoned, increasing the stray animal population. As stray dogs and cats multiplied, community members, children and pets would be at risk for diseases transmitted through urine and feces.
Turn on your TV set this morning to see Snoopy in action on ABC Action News – WFTS – Tampa Bay!
Florida residents and pet parents are urged to contact their local legislators regarding Senate Bill 1162.
What do you think about the Companon Animal Protection Act? Would you support a similar bill in your state?
H/T to DogingtonPost.com
Featured Image via Flickr/Lionknots.